1217: "Cells"

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irishnut
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1217: "Cells"

Postby irishnut » Mon May 27, 2013 4:10 am UTC

Image

Alt-text: "Now, if it selectively kills cancer cells in a petri dish, you can be sure it's at least a giant breakthrough for everyone suffering from petri dish cancer"

I only wonder if the sufferers of have been eating petri dishes or are these just biologists with petri dishes that have been smoking..

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rhomboidal
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon May 27, 2013 4:12 am UTC

That cancer lab really needs to get the funding for proton guns instead of handguns.

Crosshair
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby Crosshair » Mon May 27, 2013 4:16 am UTC

I think we have the beginning of a new meme here.

rhomboidal wrote:That cancer lab really needs to get the funding for proton guns instead of handguns.

Have you ever tried to carry a proton pack all day? Those buggers weigh 30-35 pounds? handguns are far easier to carry on a daily basis.

teelo
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby teelo » Mon May 27, 2013 4:23 am UTC

Crosshair wrote:I think we have the beginning of a new meme here.

Drugs dont kill cancer, guns do.

Antior
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby Antior » Mon May 27, 2013 4:38 am UTC

I worked with human cells on a petri dish. The thing is, human cells don't really like to live outside a human body. Cancer cells or not, to me it seemed that giving them a stern look is enough to kill the little guys.

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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby addams » Mon May 27, 2013 4:56 am UTC

teelo wrote:
Crosshair wrote:I think we have the beginning of a new meme here.

Drugs dont kill cancer, guns do.

Goofy and true.
You shoot, embalm and bury a man or petri dish and you will kill the cancer.

Spoiler:
It messes up the dish. Leaves holes in our understanding of protocol and holes in Patients.
It is not an accepted treatment in other countries.
The US seems to be using it for The Poor.

They beat the cancer to death a few days ago in Sacramento, CA.
That will show cancer.
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Quicksilver
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby Quicksilver » Mon May 27, 2013 5:05 am UTC

teelo wrote:
Crosshair wrote:I think we have the beginning of a new meme here.

Drugs dont kill cancer, guns do. I kill cancer *chk chk* with guns *pow*
Fixed.

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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby Crosshair » Mon May 27, 2013 5:06 am UTC

addams wrote:
teelo wrote:
Crosshair wrote:I think we have the beginning of a new meme here.

Drugs dont kill cancer, guns do.

Goofy and true.
You shoot, embalm and bury a man or petri dish and you will kill the cancer.]

Nuke the site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

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bitwiseshiftleft
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby bitwiseshiftleft » Mon May 27, 2013 5:12 am UTC

Handgun rounds kill cancer cells in vivo, too. But like most promising cancer drugs, they're also pretty bad for the patient.

Crosshair
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby Crosshair » Mon May 27, 2013 5:31 am UTC

bitwiseshiftleft wrote:Handgun rounds kill cancer cells in vivo, too. But like most promising cancer drugs, they're also pretty bad for the patient.

Just wait until politicians, who don't know anything about guns or medicine, start funding research. You'll start to see all sorts of papers showing how guns cure disease. :shock:

uaswell
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby uaswell » Mon May 27, 2013 6:10 am UTC

Something tells me Randall is a bit sick and tired of hearing about "miracle cures" and the like.

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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby webdude » Mon May 27, 2013 6:24 am UTC

Hmm, disconnected questions... I'll just have to ask them in scattershot fashion.

How long did Randall consider this comic before he pulled the trigger? If I guessed, it would be a shot in the dark.

If Mary Tyler Moore's 1960's TV character contracted the disease, would that have been Petri(e) dish cancer?

If handguns are banned, doctors could take a stab at using knives. Oh wait, they already do!

Out of time, so I gotta pun!

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JohnTheWysard
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby JohnTheWysard » Mon May 27, 2013 6:27 am UTC

uaswell wrote:Something tells me Randall is a bit sick and tired of hearing about "miracle cures" and the like.


So am I <snarl>...

What I find appalling is that there are enough scientifically uneducated people that such crap actually WORKS.

"Kills 99.9% of bacteria" - sure, so does soapy water. And it leaves the 0.1% toughest bactria with a field free of competition.

And of course cancer cells ARE human cells, just with the brakes malfunctioning.

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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby ijuin » Mon May 27, 2013 6:44 am UTC

To be serious for a moment, I'd like to know if all of these "kills cancer cells in petri dishes" studies are using the substance(s) in question in concentrations that are reasonable to achieve inside a human body. It does very little good to cancer patients if the necessary quantity would also kill healthy cells in large numbers.

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bitwiseshiftleft
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby bitwiseshiftleft » Mon May 27, 2013 7:02 am UTC

uaswell wrote:"Kills 99.9% of bacteria" - sure, so does soapy water.


Only if it's antibacterial soap. Regular soapy water is good at washing bacteria away, but not great at killing them. At least, that's what I read on the internet somewhere.

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Locoluis
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby Locoluis » Mon May 27, 2013 7:22 am UTC

JohnTheWysard wrote:And of course cancer cells ARE human cells, just with the brakes malfunctioning.


Or are they? HeLa cells, for example, have a very different number of chromosomes than normal human cells. Also, unlike human cells as mentioned above, HeLa cells readily survive in Petri dishes and tissue culture plates around the world.

This article from Discovery talks about the non-humanity of HeLa cells: No Longer Human
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StClair
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby StClair » Mon May 27, 2013 7:59 am UTC

Would a bullet actually do much to cancer cells? Shatter the dish, certainly; and there might be some heat transfer, which could warm up the culture a bit - enough to make it non-viable?
The ones at and directly adjacent to the impact point would probably undergo intense pressure changes, perhaps enough to rupture their membranes...

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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby dfeuer » Mon May 27, 2013 8:12 am UTC

bitwiseshiftleft wrote:
uaswell wrote:"Kills 99.9% of bacteria" - sure, so does soapy water.


Only if it's antibacterial soap. Regular soapy water is good at washing bacteria away, but not great at killing them. At least, that's what I read on the internet somewhere.


Indeed, but killing is somewhat overrated. Bacteria washed down the drain aren't likely to survive through sewage treatment. That said, the thing to use to kill cancer cells is bleach. It doesn't take much injected bleach to kill them all. Side effects tend to be limited to painful but quick death.

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Klear
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby Klear » Mon May 27, 2013 9:45 am UTC

Quicksilver wrote:
teelo wrote:
Crosshair wrote:I think we have the beginning of a new meme here.

Drugs dont kill cancer, guns do. I kill cancer *chk chk* with guns drugs *pow*
Fixed.

Fixed more.

jacksonliam91
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby jacksonliam91 » Mon May 27, 2013 9:56 am UTC

Is that a 3D printed handgun?

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J L
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby J L » Mon May 27, 2013 10:11 am UTC

The NRA will be delighted to hear that ...

arthurd006_5
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby arthurd006_5 » Mon May 27, 2013 10:14 am UTC

uaswell wrote:Something tells me Randall is a bit sick and tired of hearing about "miracle cures" and the like.

Probably from people who mean well, but believe things.

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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby arthurd006_5 » Mon May 27, 2013 10:17 am UTC

ijuin wrote:To be serious for a moment, I'd like to know if all of these "kills cancer cells in petri dishes" studies are using the substance(s) in question in concentrations that are reasonable to achieve inside a human body. It does very little good to cancer patients if the necessary quantity would also kill healthy cells in large numbers.

Like distilled water. Yes, the failure to make that distinction is the point.

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yellow103
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby yellow103 » Mon May 27, 2013 1:18 pm UTC

StClair wrote:Would a bullet actually do much to cancer cells? Shatter the dish, certainly; and there might be some heat transfer, which could warm up the culture a bit - enough to make it non-viable?
The ones at and directly adjacent to the impact point would probably undergo intense pressure changes, perhaps enough to rupture their membranes...

Gun's don't kill cancer, air particles that have been accelerated to high speed do.

floreal
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby floreal » Mon May 27, 2013 1:42 pm UTC

Antior wrote:I worked with human cells on a petri dish. The thing is, human cells don't really like to live outside a human body. Cancer cells or not, to me it seemed that giving them a stern look is enough to kill the little guys.

NEWEST MIRACLE CURE FOR CANCER, stern looks!

Antior baffles scientists with this weird new trick that can cure EVERY type of cancer!

All you have to do is give the affected area stern looks and you will be cancerfree within a week.*
*not a guarantee

itruelso
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby itruelso » Mon May 27, 2013 4:00 pm UTC

Reading comic 1217 reminded me of an old question I had, how many times have injuries inflicted by guns cures cancer?

In the United States in 2008 there were 78,622 non-fatal firearm injuries (1). The total population of the United States that year was 304,059,724 according to the US census burrow, so the rate of non-fatal firearm use was 78,622/304,059,724.

There are 1,437,180 new cases of cancer diagnosed in 2008 (2) making the rate of new cancers 1,437,180/304,059,724.

That means the rate of new cancers plus getting shot is (78,622/304,059,724)*(1,437,180/304,059,724) = 0.00000122218.

So if cancer is randomly associated with firearm injury 0.00000122218*304,059,724 = 371.6 people both developed cancer and suffered non fatal fire arm injury.

If we use the assumption that the average bullet damages 1 pound of flesh then there is a 1/177 that a bullet will remove an early microscopic cancer.

So in 2008 it can be estimated that 1/177 * 371.6 = 2.01 people were cured of cancer in 2008 by gunshot wound.

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Dr. Diaphanous
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby Dr. Diaphanous » Mon May 27, 2013 5:39 pm UTC

xkcd 1217, 1218.png
xkcd 1217, 1218.png (30.26 KiB) Viewed 21430 times
"God works in mysterious and breathtakingly cruel ways."

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da Doctah
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby da Doctah » Mon May 27, 2013 6:00 pm UTC

ijuin wrote:To be serious for a moment, I'd like to know if all of these "kills cancer cells in petri dishes" studies are using the substance(s) in question in concentrations that are reasonable to achieve inside a human body. It does very little good to cancer patients if the necessary quantity would also kill healthy cells in large numbers.
This is why radiation therapy and chemo are such a bitch: you have to kill one subset of cells while somehow preserving another set of cells with exactly the same DNA. Remember the Rorvik cloning story a few years back? The book spent considerable time figure out what were the best cells to use to obtain and propagate the donor's genetics, and ended up settling on cells from a prostate cancer.

As for the chlorine bleach approach, I don't know how well it works to treat cancer, but I've managed to cure my psoriasis with it.

rmsgrey
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon May 27, 2013 7:08 pm UTC

Is that what they call a "magic bullet" cancer cure?

Unistrut
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby Unistrut » Mon May 27, 2013 8:02 pm UTC

I've used the variant "So does a blowtorch." a few times.

dfeuer
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby dfeuer » Mon May 27, 2013 9:24 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:As for the chlorine bleach approach, I don't know how well it works to treat cancer, but I've managed to cure my psoriasis with it.


There is some evidence that dilute sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is effective against plantar warts as well, but I sure wouldn't want to be in any drug trial involving injecting it in any quantity or ingesting it in substantial quantities.

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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby ijuin » Mon May 27, 2013 9:26 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:Is that what they call a "magic bullet" cancer cure?


You, my friend, win an Internet for that. ^_^

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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby Rysto » Mon May 27, 2013 9:56 pm UTC

ijuin wrote:To be serious for a moment, I'd like to know if all of these "kills cancer cells in petri dishes" studies are using the substance(s) in question in concentrations that are reasonable to achieve inside a human body. It does very little good to cancer patients if the necessary quantity would also kill healthy cells in large numbers.

Uh, this is precisely the point that Randall is making.

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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby Angelastic » Mon May 27, 2013 10:33 pm UTC

rhomboidal wrote:That cancer lab really needs to get the funding for proton guns instead of handguns.

And carbon ion guns! Don't forget those! :)

Edit: Drat, 300th post and I'm not even in the Time thread so I don't get to say a naughty word. :(
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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby mishka » Mon May 27, 2013 11:37 pm UTC

The cells wouldn't die however. Most of the cells would simply be sprayed outward.

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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby LemkeBeta » Mon May 27, 2013 11:43 pm UTC

Rysto wrote:
ijuin wrote:To be serious for a moment, I'd like to know if all of these "kills cancer cells in petri dishes" studies are using the substance(s) in question in concentrations that are reasonable to achieve inside a human body. It does very little good to cancer patients if the necessary quantity would also kill healthy cells in large numbers.

Uh, this is precisely the point that Randall is making.


Yep, valid analogy for surrogate endpoints - it always is supposedly reasonable when only the variable in discussion is considered. Seems right for the lay person and even for the pros that buy the argument.

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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby hidannik » Tue May 28, 2013 6:14 am UTC

As someone with the disease in question (second go-round), I endorse this strip.

What sucks worse than cancer... well, I take that back, there's not a lot that sucks worse than cancer, but what makes cancer's suckage even worse is false hope raised by researchers looking to make bank by issuing optimistic-sounding - but actually meaningless - press releases.

Hans

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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby Klear » Tue May 28, 2013 9:36 am UTC

Dr. Diaphanous wrote:
xkcd 1217, 1218.png


This is so awesome...

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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby arthurd006_5 » Tue May 28, 2013 9:51 am UTC

hidannik wrote:What sucks worse than cancer... well, I take that back, there's not a lot that sucks worse than cancer, but what makes cancer's suckage even worse is false hope raised by researchers looking to make bank by issuing optimistic-sounding - but actually meaningless - press releases.

Umm...

One count of 'ouch!'

One count of 'please can we beat them with a clue-stick for you?'

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Re: 1217: "Cells"

Postby thesingingaccountant » Tue May 28, 2013 12:29 pm UTC

Crosshair wrote:I think we have the beginning of a new meme here.

rhomboidal wrote:That cancer lab really needs to get the funding for proton guns instead of handguns.

Have you ever tried to carry a proton pack all day? Those buggers weigh 30-35 pounds? handguns are far easier to carry on a daily basis.


And here I was feeling sorry for the poor package handlers who have to schlep BHG's bobcats... The average adult weighs about 18 lbs.
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